Etymology of Coffee

Viacheslav Iakobchuk

This wonder comes from the Italian caffe, linguistically adapted from the Turkish root kahveh, related to the traditional Arabic qahwah, linking to the old Kingdom of Kaffa of the 14th century, which is presently part of Ethiopia. At first, coffee was perceived as a type of wine, due to its dark color and the strength of its flavor. This way, the true meaning is commonly misrepresented, associating it to an invigorating sense.

The tree from which the seeds come from is called coffea, known for having overall height of three meters and capable of reaching ten meters, typically described as a plant, and called bunn in the Arabic language.

Being introduced in Europe in the 17th century, England appears as a significant reference, while Italy eventually becomes the epicenter, not only of coffee itself, but of its variants, such as the cappuccino, thus becoming café in French and kaffe in German.

On the other hand, expresso or espresso, its purest form, comes from the Latin expressus, as a participle of the verb exprimĕre, meaning to squeeze, suggesting the method by which the pressure on the grains in contact with hot water is exerted, made up of the prefix ex-, to take out, and the verb pressare, as in to press.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the first espresso machines appeared, which were being modernized for a specific public, revolutionizing their reach and practicality in the year 2000 through the Nespresso models.

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